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EXPLAINER: Details you should know about voting procedures on election day

EXPLAINER: Details you should know about voting procedures on election day


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is set up by the constitution to conduct and supervise elections in the country for the offices of the president, vice president, members of the state houses of assembly, governors, their deputies, and members of the Senate and House of Representatives.

Before the introduction of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), the commission had used the Smartcard Reader and the Z-pad for elections. However, the forthcoming elections will be conducted using the BVAS introduced by INEC in 2021.


The BVAS has already been used in some offshore elections.

What are the voting procedures?

In Nigeria, elections usually take place on Saturdays, and they are carried out based on the Independent National Electoral Commission’s guidelines.


According to the procedures for voting; voting starts at 8:30am. The polling units open from 8am for accreditation and close at 1pm. What this means is that only voters who were in line before 1pm would be accredited.

Eligible voters are expected to vote at the same polling unit they completed their voter registration at or were transferred to by the commission.

An eligible voter must be a citizen of Nigeria, 18 years and above, has registered in the constituency he/she intends to vote, and comes along with the Permanent Voter Card (PVC) on election day.

The next step is presenting the Permanent Voter Card (PVC) for accreditation using the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS). The BVAS is an electronic device designed to read the PVC and authenticate voters on election day.


The BVAS enables voter recognition through a biometric verification mechanism, using both fingerprint and facial features.

The device can also capture images of the polling unit result sheet (Form EC8A) and upload the image of the sheet on INEC’s Election Result Viewing platform (IReV).

IReV is an online portal where results from polling units are uploaded, transmitted and published for the public.


The portal also allows members of the public to create personal accounts to gain access to polling units’ results uploaded on the platform as PDF files.

The third step is to check and be sure the voter’s name is on the register of voters in that polling unit. This step has been made easy as registered voters can easily check the status of their registration on the INEC portal, which will also reveal their polling units and all other necessary information.

Following this is getting authenticated with the BVAS through fingerprints or facial recognition.

Once accredited, the voter is issued a ballot paper by the presiding officer, who further explains the voting procedure to the voters. The Presiding Officer also invites all accredited voters to form a single queue for orderliness.

The next step is going to the cubicle where the ballot boxes are. The voter is expected to make a choice in secret, drop the thumb-printed ballot paper in the ballot box, and proceed to the Assistant Presiding Officer 2.

The Assistant Presiding Officer 2 is expected to ink the voter after they drop their ballot paper.

After voting and inking the thumb, the voter can either leave the polling area or stay 300 meters away from the voting area to witness vote sorting and counting.

The Presiding Officer is vested with the power to sort, count, and announce results for their polling unit before submitting them to the appropriate persons.

The upcoming elections are scheduled to take place in February and March. The Presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on Saturday 25, February 2023 and the Governorship and Houses of Assemble elections will be on Saturday 11 March 2023.

(INEC/Daily Trust)


Contents provided and/or opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of The Pacesetter Frontier Magazine or any employee thereof.

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